How Leaders Increase Urgency (While Keeping Their Cool) 

by | Aug 12, 2022 | Leadership

Attention! Attention! This just in … establishing a sense of urgency in your team is important, even if you don’t have a big event coming up. Rather than being lulled into a sense of complacency when things are humming along, creating a culture of urgency ensures an elevated level of productivity year-round. Leaders with a strong vision motivate their team by tapping into their sense of urgency. For instance, since clients have an endless number of options for who they can do business with, you can always look for ways to add value to their experience. Find ways to keep clients engaged and excited, incorporate new technology as it evolves, and stay on top of market trends. Learn even more ways to capitalize on your team’s sense of urgency by reading our advice below.  

Set clear expectations. 

If your team doesn’t know what’s expected, they won’t be able to achieve it. Set up metrics for measuring success and ensure everyone’s aware of upcoming deadlines. Knowing that they thoroughly understand all of the steps for each task will increase everyone’s success levels. Deadlines encourage your team to plan ahead and brainstorm more efficient methods with clarity and creativity. Encourage your team to identify: 

  • What’s slowing things down? Helpful follow up questions include: “What if?” “Why not?” “How come?” 
  • What skills and training are needed to keep everyone up-to-speed? 
  • How can you best analyze and respond to customer feedback? 
  • How can you locate and fix production-related inefficiencies? 

Use motivating deadlines.  

Whether it’s letting down a client, decreasing other team members’ chances of success, or losing business, let your team know what’s at stake if they get behind on their goals. Maybe there’s even monetary rewards, such as monthly bonuses, on the line. Think through how you might incentivize staying on track. 


A list with bullet points, including, "Later," "Tomorrow," "Today," and "NOW."

What should you do when your team’s energy slows down, or they completely miss a goal? Follow up with them to determine what went wrong and what can be done to avoid missing deadlines or goals in the future. Be empathetic about their workload. Do tasks need to be redistributed or timelines adjusted? Make the necessary changes and continue to provide feedback. Then, move forward with a renewed sense of urgency! 

Celebrate success. 

Once you’ve established an “urgency mindset” as not just a one-off event but as an integral aspect of your team’s culture, continue the momentum by celebrating achievements as they come. By sending congratulatory emails when team members hit their deadlines (or submit their work early) you demonstrate how important urgency is in your organization. Provide a morale boost by giving team members a small reward, such as a gift card or recognizing them in front of the group. Find out what’ll resonate best with each team member and take note of the big smiles and increased urgency of happy teammates.   

Set the example. 

Demonstrate your own urgency mindset by acting intentionally and modeling the behavior for your team. Rather than getting overly stressed out when things aren’t running smoothly (at least in public), keep your cool and stay action-oriented in front of your team.  

  • Make quick, confident decisions.  
  • Let your team know you’re in it with them. Empathize with their struggles. Do they need you to act as cheerleader, confidant, or to jump in and help out?  
  • Read. Allow other leaders to inspire you.  
  • Establish your own personal CTA (call to action). How can you stay productive and engaged every day? 
  • Keep your goals transparent—this sets the tone for your team. 
  • Expect the same from your team! Let them know that in order for things to get better or change (when needed), they need to share their thoughts and concerns with you. A great reminder is that if nothing changes … nothing c 

Finally, find a flow that works for your entire team. Take time to think about processes, decide on the best strategy, and execute your team’s plan with efficiency. Once they’ve located their inner drive, they can repeat this process daily. With a renewed sense of urgency, you’re sure to optimize everyone’s performance.  

Another quality of great leaders is the ability to serve others with a grateful heart. Learn about the benefits of servanthood, here.